Pork with Sauerkraut and Caraway

Pork belly slices, trimmed of skin and looking like pale streaky bacon rashers for Desperate Dan’s breakfast are often a better buy than a belly pork joint for stews like this one. Without realizing it, I made a simplified version of Bigos, a traditional Polish hunter’s stew. It’s unbelievably delicious, the combination of pork with tangy cured cabbage and the distinctively earthy aniseed flavour of caraway. Serve with boiled or jacket potatoes, or noodles.

Serves 4-6
Prep: 25 min
Cook: 75 min

3 medium onions, 400g
2 tbsp vegetable oil
1 tsp caraway seeds
600g meaty pork belly slices
350g jar sauerkraut
optional extras: 10 frankfurters or
300g small/chunked carrots and 25g flat leaf parsley

Halve, peel and chop the onion. Heat the oil in a spacious, lidded pan, over a medium heat and stir in the onion, caraway and ½ (half) tsp salt. Stir-fry for a few minutes, cooking until the onion begins to wilt and turn juicy. Reduce the heat, cover and cook for 10-15 minutes while you prepare the meat. Cut into large kebab size pieces and stir into the wilting, juicy onion. Increase the heat and brown thoroughly. Boil the kettle. Rinse the sauerkraut with boiling water from the kettle. Stir into the browned meat, season with salt and pepper and add sufficient water to generously cover. Bring to the boil, reduce the heat to a steady simmer, cover and cook for 45 minutes. Season to taste and simmer uncovered for about 10 minutes or until the meat is yielding, the liquid slightly reduced. If including halved frankfurters or carrots, add for the final 30 minutes; the chopped parsley just before serving.